Friday, December 4, 2009

CATE LLEWELLYN "Cold Hand Cate"

by tracy serra

I wandered over to the Drunken Drow the other night to listen to Cate Llewellyn. In real life, Cate Llewellyn is a singer-songwriter living and playing music in the Chicago area.

The evening started out with Cate welcoming everyone who was there (and yes, I was on time this night). She started her set with a cover of Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”. I found myself thinking if this was a warm up song, we were in for a fantastic night. New arrivals were welcomed and Cate did a little promotion of the previous performer before covering the Beatles’ “Blackbird”. Before starting she let us know that whenever she sings a Beatles song, she asks everyone to tell her their favorite Beatle. It turns out that Cate and I share the same favorite Beatle: George.

Taking a small break from singing covers, Cate performed an original called "All I Think Of” or the “do-do-do-do song” (which reminded me of the SNL monologue of Taylor Swift. Not the song, the way it was introduced). Letting us all know she is a fan of the Apple line of computers (which I won’t hold against her :p), Cate sang what she called a fun song because it reminded her of Apples’ stuff called “New Soul”.

If you have read my reviews, by now you know I like it when the artist plays the crowd with more than requests to tip the venue. Cate certainly did that when she sang a quick happy birthday song for a friend in attendance after which she told us when she was looking for a man she would like to have created a note she could give to a guy with all the qualities she wanted so she wrote a song about it called “The Note”. Letting us know that a fan had requested she learn the song, “At Last”; tonight was the first time she performed it and was hoping it would turn out OK. I have to say, it went more than OK! Next up was another original she wrote for her sweetheart she found in-world called “Heart Song”. Thanking people for tips received she also reminded everyone to tip the venue with a “please, please, please”, and a “give, give, give”.

As Cate introduced her next song, she said she thought she sounded like she came from Minnesota. Cate told us she never thought she had an accent till she heard herself. The song was called “Cold Hands” and we were told to remind her to ask why it had that title. After the song, and being reminded to give us the song title explanation, Cate told us she has a circulation problem and always complained about having cold hands. I believe a trip to a museum that had a thermal camera proved it when she walked in front if it and her hands were blue on the monitor.

The night was winding down as Cate did a Weepies cover of “Gotta Have You”. More thanking people for tips and apologizing for messing up name pronunciation was followed by an original about feeling lazy called “Today” and “Key West” which was about getting away. A plug for her Subscribe-O-Matic led in to "Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. After thanking the venue for its support and asking for support for the venue, Cate performed her last song appropriately called “The End”

As her introduction states, Cate “…effortlessly shapes evocative and stirring melodies that capture moods and emotions in their dynamic simplicity!” Cate certainly created moods, and painted emotions this night.

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